Police foil BKU's plan of holding rally in Chandigarh



Chandigarh: Tight security arrangements foiled the plans of a farmers' body which was to hold a protest rally in the city on Wednesday.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) had given a call for the rally demanding increase in productivity bonus on crops, rid them from pending power bills, and disbursal of the Rs 800 crore Central package to farmers.

The farmers had earlier threatened to converge in the city's main commercial area in Sector 17, instead of designated rally point in Sector 25.

Balbir Singh Rajewal, president of the farmers' body, led a "peaceful march" from Mohali but was stopped by Chandigarh police on the border.

As the police prevented the protesters from entering Chandigarh, they sat on an indefinite dharna in Mohali, officials said.

Rajewal asked the farmers to remain peaceful and to camp at the same place till they were given permission to enter the city.

"We will camp here (Mohali) for an indefinite period. We will cook our own food and arrange everything for us here only," Rajewal told reporters.

A group of about 1,000 farmers, from different parts of Punjab, arrived in tractor trolleys and buses to participate in the rally.

Rajewal threatened to stop the supply of vegetables to Chandigarh if they were not allowed to enter the city.

"Chandigarh is the capital of Punjab and police have no right to stop us from entering into it. This is totally undemocratic," he said.

Police had sealed all 20 entry points from Punjab side and nakas have been established at various points bordering the state, a police official said.

Chandigarh administration had imposed Section 144 banning assembly of five or more people, except in Sector 25 rally ground where the permission has been given for holding the rally.

PTI